One of the main arguments I’ve heard recently on twitter, is that being not everyone can be vegan, because ‘it’s too expensive’. Although highly untrue, if you’re not vegan yourself and are going on assumptions, I can see why you may think that way. So, is being vegan expensive or not?
But health stores are so expensive!
One girl on twitters legit response to me showing her veganism wasn’t expensive, was ‘But vegan chocolate is like $8!!!’. Aside from having her priorities waaaaay off, this doesn’t even the truth. Majority of dark chocolate is in fact vegan, and you can buy tons online for a fraction of the price.
Sure, if you’re a vegan who shops only at health stores, buying free trade this and organic that, and THATS IT, then of course your shopping bill is going to be higher than if you just buy frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets. It’s better for your health, the environment and the animals, but let’s just focus on price. Also, this would be the case for anyone going to these exclusive health shops. Buying goats milk and organic milk chocolate will be just as expensive, health food stores does NOT mean vegan.
What about at regular supermarkets?
So, you’ve just gone vegan, and aren’t part of the few % that can afford to buy all their stuff at health stores, join the club. One of the most annoying preconceptions about veganism is that we eat some weird kind of exclusive food that no one else eats. Um, ever heard of rice? Pasta, noodles, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, do you not eat all of these foods too? The foods that make up the bulk of your meal and are often the cheapest parts of your grocery list? The day you find a pack of pasta cheaper than a chunk of dead meat, let me know, okay!
The only difference is, instead of having chicken with your rice or beef with your noodles , it’s stir fried veg or sautéed potatoes, beans in different sauces or whatever you fancy that day. Meat is one of the most expensive things you can regularly buy. Not only does it go out of date quickly, but only makes up a small part of your meal. Ever had just a lump of chicken on its own?
No vegetables and fruits are not expensive, and I fail to understand why so many people seem to think ‘OMG if they wanted us to be healthy why are all the healthy foods so expensive!!”. Yeah, if all you eat are shitty microwaveable meals and frozen nuggets, then anything will be more expensive than that. When you can buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, which can get AT LEAST 4 servings out of it for less than $2, your argument is becoming invalid.
Don’t shop like a 3 year old in a sweet shop, and you’ll be fine. Shop SMART.
Add on a bag of white rice, which could feed a family of 4 for a week at least, and you have some basic meals already being made for the bare minimum. Be imaginative, removing a few ingredients like the chicken and beef you use daily will not mean you have nothing to eat, unless you have no imagination and are dirt shit lazy.
Yes you can get meat substitutes and milk replacements, but these aren’t regular necessary purchases. A pack of mock chicken can easily be frozen, without the fear of salmonella, and used whenever needed. You’ll find you don’t need them often, and you don’t get all the fat and bones you would throw away with normal meat.
Check out how you can eat healthy for less than $2.50 per day. But veganism is expensive, right?
I probably presumed veganism was expensive before I turned, but only once you shop for yourself do you get a sense of how much cheaper it actually is. Food lasts longer, so you throw less away and save money. Remove expensive products like meat and cheese, grocery shopping becomes cheaper. It’s pretty simple stuff.
You don’t need organic unicorn glitter ice cream or biscuits when you’re vegan. So many ‘normal’ foods are vegan, yes including dirt cheap junk food and treats, meaning you can still snack to your hearts desire for the exact same price (if not less) than you did when consuming animal products. Doritos, Oreos and Ritz crackers are just a tiny percentage of what you can still binge on as a vegan. Hmm, expensive isn’t the first word popping into my head here.
How much do I spend?
I currently earn a mere $600 SGD (443 USD) a month, which is pretty standard seeing as I’m an intern. Add in the fact that I live in the most expensive city in the world (Singapore), and according to some on twitter who know no better, being vegan must be impossible! Is being vegan expensive in the most expensive city in the world?
Oh wait, it is possible. All prices have been converted to USD.
Here’s what I might eat on a regular day:
Bowl of oats and a whole ton of sugar: around $0.70 per bowl.
Serving of rice and veg + sautéed potatoes: $1.85.
A whole pack of noodles, + half a pack of frozen vegetables: $3.40.
Total: $5.95 per day.
Sure this isn’t including snacks or drinks, but for 3 filling and delicious meals, all for under $6, how the hell can you say that being vegan is expensive?
Try these recipes for under $3 a pop. Wow, so pricey, how do we cope??
Remember, this is the most expensive city to live in in the world. Also, this is a very basic day for me, no mock meat, no extra dumplings or add-ons like that, yet I was more than satisfied. When a single meal at McDonalds costs what I can eat in an ENTIRE day, then how can you say veganism is expensive?
And before you say, oh but I personally can’t afford it even though I want to be vegan, it’s not my fault, are you typing this on an iPhone right now? Or perhaps it’s a laptop. All your clothes and makeup were free, right? When did you last order food in? Do you pay for a Netflix account? Don’t try and use not having money as an excuse, it’s an insult for those that are truly poor and struggling to get by.
Is being vegan expensive?
The truth is, no way in hell. We don’t eat weird food you never buy, it’s just regular food minus a few ingredients. If you’re dead set against going vegan because you’re misinformed and a tad selfish, at least admit it, instead of hiding behind a BS excuse which is as stupid as it is false.